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POOP PAGE

Everyone_poopsBy Harry Hofherr

"You can't be serious." I said quietly, trying not to awaken my inner childish smart ass.

My wife nodded, "I'm not kidding. They really do."

"Why not?"  I laughed. "With all the crap flying around the autism world, I guess we need a place for poop stories. I'll bet it's full of it."

Then she reminds me that she sat in on a roundtable discussion at a past Autism One all about proper pooping, including size, color, shape, consistency, floaters, sinkers, and especially, frequency. I almost chewed my tongue off, but somehow managed to keep it firmly planted in my cheek while not wrecking the car.

Back home, I went on-line and there it was, on the TACA site; The "Poop" Page. (HERE) The smart ass was wide awake now and had a big poop eating grin on his face.

Heavens to Betsy, a Poop Page! All you ever, or never, wanted to know about poop. They even have "Poop Stories" from parents.

Listen up folks. This is Salvador Dali territory here. Remember him? Mr.
Surrealism. He did one of my all time favorite paintings, "The Persistence of Memory". You've probably seen it. It's the one with a clock melting off the edge of a table and another draped over the branch of a dead tree. That's surreal.

But the biomedical autism movement has a "poop page". Does it get any more surreal than that? What's more astounding is, after talking to people at Autism One, I discovered it's not unusual for autism parents to spend a quiet evening with wine and friends discussing our child's adventures in poop, or as Kim Stagliano calls them, "Crapisodes."

Okay, okay, I know this is sobering stuff and some of our kids need lots of help with their bowels and some of them don't or can't poop properly, let alone regularly, and the generic pediatricians we take them to generally don't know poop from shinola, but come'on…an honest to God poop page?

Is there a Yahoo Poop Group?

My wife has done a marvelous job managing our son's diet and his supplements and his education and is absolutely tireless in working to heal his gut in order to help him recover. What's even better, she speaks fluent PSL (Poop as a Second Language). When the teachers begin speaking in that cryptic teach speak during team meetings or IEP's, my wife talks Poop and immediately levels the field.

When our oldest daughter brought her new boyfriend over for dinner a couple of months ago, she made mom double swear cross her heart promise to not tell "Poop Stories". Mom repeatedly vowed to not talk poop.

Then sure enough, after dinner the women steered the conversation through the intestines, into the colon, and out the rectum before it exploded into full blown poop stories.  Ferchrissakes, this was the first time the young man had been to our home and he gets an earful of poop. 

What's next; a 4th of July GFCF bar-b-que with a side helping of Dysbiosis? 

So, there's an actual poop page and poop stories on the TACA site and I'm reading Bryan Jepson's book, "Changing the Course of Autism", and he's got a whole lot of info on GI problems and correcting poop, and my wife reminded me of the first DAN doctor we took our son to who talked about proper pooping and there are all sorts of chapters in other autism books and there are seminars and scientific papers dedicated to the analysis of successful pooping, and dammit, there's this juvenile leprechaun rolling around the back of my mind laughing his ass off.

TACA HAS A POOP PAGE. Autism Speaks doesn't have a poop page. But NAA has an awesome new "Poop" T-Shirt. I bought a couple at the NAA booth at Autism One. Go to NAA and check out their Little Shop of Hope. I'm wearing mine at the rally in D.C.

What does it say about autism when discussions about curing our kids include a detailed evaluation of poop? What does it tell us about autism that we need to discuss poop? Why in the hell are the Brits trying to screw Andy Wakefield for finding out why our kid's guts are all messed and they can't poop properly? That's pretty shitty of them. And why the hell don't the generic doctors believe us when we say our kids have bad poops? What is wrong with doctors who can't or won't acknowledge these kids bad poops?

From all the studies I've seen cited, it appears that some people get it. There is a definite connection between poor poop, the autistic gut, and the autistic mind. The signs can be read in the poop. 

That's it.

No more going to Madam Zelda to have her read the tea leaves or my palms to look into the future. I want to be a poop reader in my next career. I'm gonna study my sons diapers and read his poop. I'm gonna apply for an AS grant to fly off somewhere exotic and study poop with a Zen Poop Master.

Just to see where I might find a Zen Poop Master, and find out if we are alone in our poopy obsession, I Googled "Poop Page". The TACA Poop Page was only number ten, out of over 600,000. We are not alone.

I laughed so hard I almost pooped.

Harry Hofherr and his wife have three children; two daughters and a son, Eric 11, who has autism. He has been in sales and marketing for over 25 years.

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I don't see the poop shirt on the NAA website... could you post a link to it?? Thanks!

Nothing like a torpedo that would sink a ship to brighten your day.

Ohhh Harry!!! I soooo love and can relate to your childish smart ass self!

I was on "vacation" from autism (HA! LOL) until this morning so have not posted, but I did read your wonderful piece when it went up.

The daily constitutional is a lovely thing when it happens the way it should! A good poo is a good thing, and I personally love a good poop myself :D Get the crap outta here!

My boys still have many GI issues, but they are pretty much independent when it comes to such (we did not vaccinate according to the CDC schedule for various reasons and I thank God everyday for those situations) so I don't see it (poo from them) everyday. Still lots of issues though.

My favorite poop story involves Tinker Toys... Oh can you imagine? Poop smearing with Good ole' Tinker Toys. You all know where those all ended up. We've since bought new ones many times over, and the most recent purchases have been kept up when not being played with appropriately. We have poop free Tinker Toys! YAY!

I am so happy for all of you who have kiddo's who are having some good daily constitutionals! Thanks You to our fabulous DAN! Docs. Screw the generics... MOST (not to include mine and the kids own - Eva - I love you!) are not so good.

Harry... Thank you for the candor and humor you bring to Age of Autism! Keep Writing!

Ang

We have a saying in our house when we get a 'beautiful' stool...(we have been doing DAN, etc. for about a year). We call it "The $10,000 Poop", and we love it.

Ahhh poop. Brings back memories of charting each and every BM, it's color, consistency, texture and smell. We even had a smell scale! I remember playing the game "Guess what's in Jade's poop" with my husband.

Damn Generic doctors thought it was OK for a toddler to poop out whole foods like spaghetti noodles, and to poop 12 times a day. All those years of medical school, and her best advice for us was "be more positive".

The next week we went to a DAN doctor for the first time. We laughed while joking that perhaps if my new daily mantra was "Jade will digest her food" and I said it enough times, it may actually happen. WTF do the Generic doctors actually learn in school anyway? How to sign off for the drug reps?

Our own flying poop memories should have been a strong warning that something was night right in the gut from the get go. Jade, being just days old, was at the Generic doctor for her first exam. While changing her diaper in the changing room I lifted her legs to wipe her bottom. With my son standing 5 ft away, poop FLEW across the room and hit him, and the medical equipment stored across the changing room. She was like a cannon! Poop was everywhere! I never knew a newborn could eject so much crap in one shot! Thankfully, my son being good natured, laughed it off. I wish I could have said the same for the nurse who came in to clean up the mess!

After three years of diarrhea, it was digestive enzymes that caused my son to be potty trained at 5-1/2 years old, and we saw our first solid poop--certainly worth celebration! We had been working on it, which meant removing the diaper, and so I remember many times my son would come walking out of his room like he had been riding a horse, and would say to me, "Change your diaper?" (Note the confusion with personal pronouns.) And I'd say, "But, honey, you're not wearing a diaper..." Within three days of using the digestive enzymes, he skipped past me on his way to the bathroom, saying, "I gotta go potty," and that was apparently that.

Oh Harry - this was the perfect thing to read at the end of a really long day! I had to keep myself from laughing too loud so I wouldn't wake Michelle! Not too long ago, Michelle managed to make a perfectly formed stool - to which my dad said - "Wait let me look at it." and to which I said "It's perfect. Maybe I should take a picture of it!" - Then he said with a little smile "It's a beautiful thing in our little world". God Bless my dad!

Oh and Harry - I love your "inner childish smart ass"!!

I have had 2 different pediatricians worry about ME and my problem with my boys bowel issues!! There was a time when he would go a week without going and then we would get the extreme toe walking and standing over the toilet to try to go. Doc's think this is normal??
I can't even tell anyone how much fiber he takes so that he can go almost every day. I don't believe the doc's would think this was normal if it was them. Families with Autism get joy out of the simplest things dont we?? Poop?? hahaha

Harry,

I also knew this was coming since we shared a good laugh on this theme. Little did I know when reading the "Everyone Poops" book when the girls were young that it would take on a whole new meaning during this era of our lives.

For Megan, 15 and nonverbal, it was not until gf/cf and digestive enzymes that she was able to use the toilet and not need diapers. She was 9 years old so, never give up! Since I am also interested in bacteria, poop is still high on my list of fun topics!

Thanks for your thoughtful words about the joys and sorrows. We need to continue to blaze trails for the kids and get them feeling better.

Teresa

Jeanne,
The same thing happened to us on Christmas day a few years ago. We had a hodgepodge of random family here for the holiday, including 2 gay couples with no children. When P had a "normal" poop I screamed for my mom and husband and we were dancing around the hall like rednecks who just found out they won the lottery. The company was completely speechless. We could have cared less. We had spent lots of time and money and discussion on that poop. And it was beautiful.

"I remember catching an *projectile diarrhea* episode on video tape by accident."

Projectile diarrhea reminds me of my son's projectile vomiting in the early months. Despite the fact that the ped was told this, with nary a dent in any form of reasoning whatsoever, we continued to vax with a frenzy as if it were going out of fashion.

"It hit the wall which was about 8 feet away."

My son is hopeless at art, well of the "hand" kind, but he too like your son, more than makes up with his butt. Unfortunately we have to keep erasing signs of his artwork off of the walls and the toilet seat for sanitary and hygiene reasons. I could take pictures though, never thought of that.

Thanks, Harry - I always really enjoy your articles!

Speaking of poop, I have a friend whose neurotypical son is 17 years old and so received the many thimerosal-containing vaxes given to kids born in the early 1990's, as well as of course the MMR. As a child, he suffered from very bad constipation. They saw a child psych who said that he was trying to control his world by holding in his poop, or something like that. He is now a senior in high school and although he does very well on standardized tests he in danger of flunking his classes. He doesn't know what he wants to do next year and can't bring himself to look for a job or apply for college. He has been having trouble concentrating on his work in recent years and spends his time instant messaging when he should be doing homework. He is suffering from depression.

My friend views his issues as mainly psychological in nature, but I suggested that although depression can cause physical issues, the reverse can also be true, i.e. biochemistry can cause depression. And I suggested having him evaluated by an educational specialist to see whether there are other issues interfering with his ability to learn besides lack of motivation. And I have been sharing information about biomedical treatments, partly because my friend has some ongoing GI issues.

Another friend of mine has a son about the same age who has asthma and is very quiet, not nearly as sociable as my friend. He focuses on particular areas of interest and does have a few close friends.

Neither of these boys is autistic. They are perfectly capable of speaking in complete sentences and functioning on a daily basis. The first is quite social and the second does very well in school. But I often wonder how many kids of this generation -- especially boys -- have been affected by vaccines in a milder way than our kids.

In my younger daughter's 4th grade class there are several neurotypical boys who have very bad behavior problems. My older daughter's teacher in an Advanced Placement (AP) class commented on how there are fewer boys than girls in AP classes these days. I remember the Newsweek article on how many boys are having trouble in school these days. Ofcourse throughout history there have been kids with behavioral or learning problems, but I wonder if these days some of these issues are vaccine-related.

I have two neurotypical nephews with asthma -- one of whom is incredibly good at drawing, used to like to line up his toys and had meltdowns over transitions, and is on a steroidal medication now because he was getting sick so often with cold viruses etc. When I tried to explain to my brother and sister-in-law why a yearly flu shot containing thimerosal may be bad for him, they said that they would ask their pediatrician about it, and when I tried to explain why they may not get the full story from their pediatrician they just gave me a blank look. Although I always circulate information about vaccines, etc., I live far away, don't see them very often, and I don't know whether they pay attention to my emails.

At least most of us reading articles on AoA have access to information about DAN! biomedical treatments, vaccine safety issues, etc. But it's really sad that parents of kids who may be more mildly affected by vaccines are generally completely oblivious to issues such as detoxification, flu shots containing thimerosal, mercury in dental amalgams, dietary intevention...

I've gotten pretty far away from the poop topic, but it just reminds me of kids I know who have milder poop issues and milder learning, emotional, social, and/or behavioral issues. One of the unfortunate results of the resistance among gov't agencies and medical organizations and specialists to learning about vaccine safety issues and prevention and treatment of adverse reactions, and of the relation between digestion, the immune system, and the brain, is that not only are so many autistic kids not getting the biomedical treatments which could possibly benefit them, but most more mildly affected kids may have completely unrecognized problems which are not being addressed.

Before Miles was diagnosed, I remember catching an *projectile diarrhea* episode on video tape by accident. It hit the wall which was about 8 feet away.

We looked up at each other and said, "Crap. What the hell was that?"

Our official introduction into the pooposhpere.


Great job Harry!

Knowing you were going to write this I was waiting for it - glad I did not have to write you and say "S*%# or get off the pot"! Don't ya just love all the different things you can do with the words associated with "poop"?

When our son Thomas had his very first solid turd at about 4 years old, I saved it and showed it to my wife later (I am a stay at home dad) - the PCA working with my son could not believe it. I wish now that I had had it bronzed, or at least took a picture - he seldom has such wonderful turds as that one.

One of the first things we teach our PCA's is how to describe poop - it is the only way we can really get a feel (no, not litterally) for how our Thomas is doing since he is non-verbal. It is a great way to find out if they are going to "make it" in our world.

Seriously, poop is an important and intregal part of our life with our son. I know its probably just a guy thing, being a hillbilly who grew up in Wisconsin, but I am especially proud of Thomas' ability to "clear a room"!

After 5 years of diarrhea, one day my son pooped and it was "normal." I started screaming and jumping up and down, then I yelled for my mother (we were at her house). She came running in the bathroom expecting to see a dead body. She figured out what was going on and looked down. She immediately started jumping up and down with me. We hugged, we laughed, we cried... we celebrated the perfection of my son's poop. I'll never forget that day. :-)

By a weird coincidence, just a half hour ago as I was throwing out the garbage my son has stuffed in his desk drawer I came across the ripped out spine of this same book "Everybody Poops." I had shaken up head in resignation thinking, yet another book gone.


"And why the hell don't the generic doctors believe us when we say our kids have bad poops? What is wrong with doctors who can't or won't acknowledge these kids bad poops?"

On poop a chirpractor once told me - they should be peanut colored logs and they should sink. End of story. Alternative medicine does know poop and does think its important to have normal poop. Its the generic docs who don't know this.

I have a theory people really do not care when then pass you in the hall and say... "How are you today?" it is just a greeting. I always answer with a smiling .... "I'm Great!" which gets them to smile. If I am having a really tough day (this is the connection to poop. I know it is a stretch but I was thinking of one particular interesting episode that you would never believe) I say with a smile "I'm Wonderful!" In translation that means I am full of wonder at the _ _ _ _ that goes on around here. I hope you all have a Great Day!

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